The sales world has changed drastically due to the coronavirus crisis. Gone are the coffee meetings and face-to-face conversations with prospects. The pandemic will eventually subside, but virtual sales calls aren’t going away. This makes selling or any customer-facing role much more challenging because it’s more difficult to build relationships, obtain critical information and tailor our sales efforts in a virtual environment. Let’s discuss Virtual Selling Tips.
We must learn how to set and manage the virtual stage to understand customers’ needs. This requires being far more observant of their behaviors because a small screen or phone conversation is often our only window into their behavioral preferences.
The key challenge is to gain buyers’ attention and keep them engaged virtually through the conversation. Changing buyers’ points of view on what’s possible or how to solve a problem requires understanding their needs & developing relationships, all of them virtually.
Here are a few simple, yet powerful tips on making this work.
5 tips for boosting your conversions in a virtual selling environment
1. Make video technology your best friend
We all know how one-to-one video exploded with an increase from 7% in 2019 to 40% in 2020. It represents a 471% increase year-over-year. The LinkedIn State of Sales Report 2020 also confirms that. Virtual selling has gone mainstream, with data showing that 81% of sales professionals are conducting more video conferencing. It is just the start of using video powers.
You are the best & strongest in all in-person sales calls, you and your team are totally comfortable “in the room” and can convert any prospect. So actually nothing changes in a virtual world, ensure you don’t even think that you are not in the same room, just be on the video with the same zeal & enthusiasm.
Your basic rules don’t change at all, you would not show up in a T-shirt and baseball hat in an in-person meeting, you would not sit in a dark room, and you would not make a prospect see only part of your face. Of course not. Apply the same simple common sense here, too. Make sure your room is presentable. Look at your background. Is it distracting? Is it messy? Does it present the image you and your company want to present? Try using a virtual background or the blurry background that most video conferencing platforms offer.
Ensure your pitch decks and demos are all ready to be shared and tested well before the start of the call. An important catch is to test the audio as most of these platforms have specific ways to enable audio settings.
2. Relationship building in a virtual environment needs an extra effort
The most critical aspect you will agree on in a selling process is to build a relationship & trust with clients. An in-person meeting facilitates this well because of the way body language & physical behaviors communicate your intent and values to everyone around. How to do this from behind a video needs some extra effort to counter the missing personal touch.
This would mean some extra research on the client to know its growth strategy, needs, and problem statements. Knowing the profile, interests and hobbies of your client’s counterpart will help you break the ice in a conversation and get more active involvement in a meeting.
Another important aspect would be to be a little more observant of the client’s behaviors & reactions in a conversation. Clients’ involvement in the conversation, their reactions to the product pitch, and how much they are talking actively about how it solves their problems will give you a good indication of how to engage better.
3. Make your virtual sales pitch a little more educative
The virtual world provides us with the opportunity to be able to share more by using many technology tools. This in turn helps to make sales pitches more educative and supported by multiple props.
Demos & videos of the product/service can be presented more seamlessly, using screen sharing, and providing remote access you can make clients experience the product in a much more effective manner.
You should also use the power of google search to look for any additional information which can help your sales pitch during the conversation. This will further support your pitch proposition and also enhance clients’ understanding of the need for the product or service.
4. Set your actions steps or next meeting before you leave the call
While you would do this anyway in an in-person meeting as well, doing this in a virtual selling environment becomes much more important. Setting & scheduling the next meeting or sending a summary of the next steps makes the virtual meeting achieve the objective of the end handshake that you would do in an in-person call. It shows the importance that you are giving to the client and their time.
You can use features of automated transcripts offered by some of the video conferencing platforms to make this task very easy for you.
5. Last, but most important add some metrics specifically to measure virtual selling
Now that you’re well set for the virtual world, let’s spend some time talking about data, metrics, and tracking the business outcomes and sales results from going all-in on virtual selling.
You have your sales metrics already set with your sales funnel conversion rate, your productivity in terms of calls per day, etc. But here are a few metrics specific to virtual selling that you should add to your tracker
- Calls scheduled vs actual
- Time spent per call
- No. of calls needed per conversion
- Customer involvement & sentiments on the call
- Call quality score
You would notice these metrics are very specific to virtual sales calls and also tracking them requires certain technology support. Zipteams is working in this area to help you measure these metrics so that you can achieve better conversions. You can reach us at www.zipteams.com to get some help with tracking these. 5 simple yet powerful virtual selling tips to boost conversions